Definition of gumption in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈɡʌm(p)ʃ(ə)n/


[mass noun] informal
Shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness: the president would hire almost any young man who had the gumption to ask for a job
More example sentences
  • They played with the spirit and gumption that made them world champions, resisting all temptation to throw in the towel or play for outright draws.
  • If Croydon Council hasn't got an accountant in its ranks or a commercially-minded businessman with a sense of gumption, I can provide one.
  • And then, if you have the imagination and gumption, you can stop just being at the receiving end of news.
initiative, resourcefulness, enterprise, imagination, imaginativeness, ingenuity, inventiveness;
cleverness, astuteness, shrewdness, acumen, discernment, understanding, reason, wisdom, sagacity, sense, common sense, wit, mother wit, native wit, native ability, practicality;
spirit, forcefulness, backbone, pluck, mettle, nerve, courage
informal get-up-and-go, grit, spunk, oomph, nous, savvy, horse sense
British informal loaf, common
North American informal smarts


Early 18th century (originally Scots): of unknown origin.

Words that rhyme with gumption

assumption, consumption, overconsumption, presumption

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: gump|tion

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.